Whitepaper Sharepoint Operations Checklist - Mark van Lunenburg, Daniel McPherson - Rapid Circle - Zevenseas - oit2010


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Whitepaper Sharepoint Operations Checklist - Mark van Lunenburg, Daniel McPherson - Rapid Circle - Zevenseas - oit2010

  1. 1. SharePoint Server 2010: Operations Framework and Checklists This document is provided ―as-is‖. Information and views expressed in this document, including URL and other Internet Web site references, may change without notice. You bear the risk of using it. Some examples depicted herein are provided for illustration only and are fictitious. No real association or connection is intended or should be inferred. This document does not provide you with any legal rights to any intellectual property in any Microsoft product. You may copy and use this document for your internal, reference purposes. You may modify this document for your internal, reference purposes. © 2010 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. SharePoint Server 2010: Operations Framework and Checklists Authors: Mark van Lunenburg, Serge Salomons, Daniel McPherson Microsoft Corporation October 2010 Abstract This document provides information, such as checklists for daily, weekly, and monthly tasks, ® ® which are related to the operations management of a Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 environment. In addition, guidance is provided for using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007 R2 to monitor a SharePoint environment. Tip: To read more operations and monitoring topics, visit the SharePoint Server 2010 Library (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=181463)
  3. 3. Contents SharePoint Server 2010: Operations Framework and Checklists ............................................ 1 Contents .................................................................................................................................... 3 Operations Management and Monitoring of a SharePoint Server 2010 Environment ............. 5 Microsoft Operations Framework .............................................................................................. 6 MOF and SharePoint Server 2010 ........................................................................................ 6 The MOF Service Lifecycle.................................................................................................... 6 Best Practices for SharePoint Environments .......................................................................... 17 Capacity and Availability Management ................................................................................ 18 Change Management .......................................................................................................... 21 Monitoring SharePoint............................................................................................................. 30 Diagnostic Logging .............................................................................................................. 31 Usage Data and Health Data Collection .............................................................................. 33 SharePoint Health Analyzer ................................................................................................ 35 Web Analytics ...................................................................................................................... 37 How to check if SharePoint Server is ―Alive‖ ....................................................................... 39 SharePoint Developer Dashboard ....................................................................................... 39 Custom Applications and Object Disposal........................................................................... 40 Operations Management......................................................................................................... 42 Standard Procedures ........................................................................................................... 42 Centralized Versus Decentralized Administration ............................................................... 43 Daily Tasks .......................................................................................................................... 43 Weekly Tasks ...................................................................................................................... 51 Monthly Tasks ...................................................................................................................... 52 Impromptu Tasks ................................................................................................................. 53 Operations Checklists ............................................................................................................. 54 Daily Operations Checklist................................................................................................... 54 Weekly Operations Checklist ............................................................................................... 63 Monthly Operations Checklist .............................................................................................. 65 Summary Checklist .............................................................................................................. 68 Monitoring SharePoint Server 2010 with Microsoft Systems Operations Manager 2007 R2 . 70 Overview of Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products Management Pack for SCOM 2007 R2 70 More Information about the Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Products Management Pack for SCOM 2007 R2 ................................................................................................................ 72
  4. 4. Appendix A: Enabling the Developer Dashboard ................................................................... 73 Enable Developer Dashboard via Object model: ................................................................ 73 Enable Developer Dashboard by using Windows PowerShell ............................................ 73
  5. 5. 5 Operations Management and Monitoring of a SharePoint Server 2010 Environment This document details the operational processes, tasks, and tools that are required to operate and maintain a SharePoint Server 2010 environment. It explains how the management of SharePoint Server 2010 fits in with the overall Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) model. It will help you design your approach to operational management and give you the means to implement processes and procedures that help keep your environment running smoothly. Within a SharePoint Server 2010 environment, the procedures, roles, and responsibilities that are involved in operations should be formalized. You can use the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) to help model your organization's formalization efforts. Implementing SharePoint Server 2010 operations procedures according to the MOF processes requires:  Understanding MOF MOF is a collection of best practices, principles, and models that give you technical guidance about the management of IT projects such as daily SharePoint Server 2010 operations. MOF guidelines will help you achieve mission-critical production system reliability, availability, supportability, and manageability for Microsoft products.  Learning about best practices for the management of SharePoint environments We recommend that you implement proven and practical procedures to manage a SharePoint Server 2010 environment. Tried, tested, and documented methods of managing operations in your organization may be more efficient than developing your own methods.  Separating operations into daily, weekly, and monthly processes Document the operational tasks that are performed regularly in your company. Documenting how and when tasks are performed ensures that the information is preserved when members of the operations staff change jobs or leave the company. New employees also benefit from this documentation because it helps them quickly learn how your IT department conducts its SharePoint operations.  Deploying the tools required for operating a SharePoint Server 2010 environment Many tools are available to help troubleshoot problems, automate tasks, and aid in the monitoring and maintenance of your SharePoint Server 2010 environment. You can define a standard set of tools for your organization so that the tasks performed by your operations team are performed accurately, efficiently, consistently, and in a controlled manner. You should also implement processes to track incidents and major configuration changes. For more information, see the following sections:  Microsoft Operations Framework
  6. 6. 6  Monitoring SharePoint Server 2010 with Microsoft Operations Manager 2007 R2 Microsoft Operations Framework The Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) 4.0 is a collection of integrated best practices, principles, and activities that provide comprehensive guidelines for achieving reliability in IT solutions and services. MOF provides question-based guidance that enables you to determine what is needed for your organization now, as well as activities that will keep the IT organization running efficiently and effectively in the future. MOF 4.0 supports the integration of any policies, tasks, or activities based on other frameworks (such as ITIL, COBIT, and ISO 20000) with the Microsoft platform. The guidance in MOF encompasses all of the activities and processes involved in managing an IT service: its conception, development, operation, maintenance, and—ultimately—its retirement. MOF organizes these activities and processes into service management functions (SMFs), which are grouped together in phases that mirror the IT service lifecycle. Each SMF is anchored within a lifecycle phase and contains a unique set of goals and outcomes that support the objectives of that phase. An IT service’s readiness to move from one phase to the next is confirmed by management reviews (MRs), which ensure that goals are achieved in an appropriate fashion and that IT’s goals are aligned with the goals of the organization. MOF and SharePoint Server 2010 It’s important to understand the connection between sound operational practices, sound procedures, and a healthy SharePoint Server 2010 infrastructure. Well-documented, thorough operational processes and procedures ensure that all the components in an organization's environment, on which SharePoint Server relies, are managed efficiently and effectively through all the design, deployment, and supporting phases. Changes to the components of an organization's infrastructure, such as firmware updates to routers and firewall rules changes, on which SharePoint Server relies can result in an unexpected outage. Modification in these areas can happen without the involvement of the organization's SharePoint team. By using MOF-based processes to help make sure that there is documentation of these service interdependencies, an organization can help minimize the chances of preventable outages and reduce the impact of scheduled changes. The MOF Service Lifecycle MOF provides guidelines about how to design, plan, deploy, and maintain IT operational processes in support of mission-critical service solutions. Because MOF is a generic model, you must adapt many of the recommendations for use in your company. When you see references to ―roles‖ in the MOF model, understand that a single person may be assigned
  7. 7. 7 many roles, especially in small companies. However, even if a single person represents the whole IT department, the procedures and recommendations in this model are generally applicable. MOF is a structured and flexible model that is based on the following resources:  Microsoft Consulting Services (MCS) and Customer Support teams and their experiences working with enterprise customers and partners, as well as the internal IT operations groups at Microsoft.  The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL), which describes the processes and best practices that are required for the delivery of mission-critical service solutions.  ISO/IEC 15504 from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which provides a normalized approach to assessing software process maturity. MOF provides recommendations about how to design, plan, deploy, and maintain various ® ® ® ® Microsoft products, such as Microsoft Windows Server 2008, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and SharePoint Server 2010 among others. For detailed information about the Microsoft Operations Framework, see Microsoft Operations Framework (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=21640). For more information about ITIL see ITIL Service Management (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=202814) and ISO (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=84073). Note: The third-party Web site information in this article is provided to help you find the technical information you need. The URLs are subject to change without notice. Components of the MOF Service Lifecycle Model An IT service lifecycle describes the various phases through which an IT service progresses. It begins with planning and optimizing the IT service to align it with the business strategy, continues through the design and delivery of the IT service, and onto its ongoing operation and support. Underlying is a foundation of IT governance, risk management, compliance, team organization, and change management. MOF maps the various essential processes and outcomes to the different phases of the IT Service lifecycle in order to deliver successful, low risk IT services that meet the business need and have a governance model that ensures compliance with rules and regulations. Figure 1 Microsoft Service Lifecycle The MOF lifecycle is composed of a foundation layer that supports three continuous phases:  Manage Layer
  8. 8. 8  Plan Phase  Deliver Phase  Operate Phase These components, taken together, form a circular lifecycle that can be applied to services that range from a single application to a complete IT landscape made up of multiple data centers. Service management functions (SMFs) support each phase in the process model. It’s important to note that although the model describes the MOF quadrants sequentially, activities from all quadrants can occur at the same time. Briefly, the lifecycle phases involve the following activities:  The Plan Phase provides guidance about how to plan for and optimize an IT service strategy. It helps to deliver services that are valuable and compelling for the organization, predictable and reliable, policy-compliant, cost-effective, and adaptable to changing business needs.  The Deliver Phase helps IT professionals more effectively deliver IT services, infrastructure projects, or packaged product deployments, and it ensures that those services are envisioned, planned, built, stabilized, and deployed in line with business requirements and the customer’s specifications.  The Operate Phase helps IT professionals efficiently operate, monitor, and support deployed services in line with agreed-to service level agreement (SLA) targets.  The Manage Layer establishes an integrated approach to IT service management activities. This integration is enhanced through the establishment of decision-making processes and the use of risk management, change management, and controls. The MOF framework formally describes the steps that are involved in this improvement cycle, assigning responsibilities for each step and enabling the whole process to be managed. At the end of each phase, there is a review point. With a large IT department, this is likely to be a review meeting between the people or teams involved, such as release management, operations, and security. In a smaller company, review points are possibly only a checkpoint that indicates that you are ready to proceed. Service Management Functions within the Phases Each phase of the IT service lifecycle contains service management functions (SMFs) that define the processes, people, and activities required to align IT services to the requirements of the business. Each SMF has its own guide that explains the flow of the SMF and details the processes and activities within. Although each SMF can be thought of as a stand-alone set of processes, it is important to understand how the SMFs in all of the phases work to ensure that service delivery is of the desired quality and risk level. In some phases (such as Deliver), the SMFs are performed sequentially. In other phases (such as Operate), the SMFs may be performed simultaneously to create the outputs for the phase.
  9. 9. 9 Management Reviews For each phase in the lifecycle, management reviews (MRs) bring together information and people to determine the status of IT services and to establish readiness to move forward in the lifecycle. MRs are internal controls that provide management validation checks, which ensure that goals are being achieved in an appropriate fashion and that business value is considered throughout the IT service lifecycle. The goals of management reviews, no matter where they happen in the lifecycle, are straightforward:  Provide management oversight and guidance.  Act as internal controls at the phase level of the IT lifecycle.  Assess the state of activities and prevent premature advancement into the next phases.  Capture organizational learning.  Improve processes. During a management review, the criteria that a service must meet to move through the lifecycle are reviewed against actual progress. The MRs make sure that business objectives are being met and that IT services are on track to deliver expected value. The next paragraphs briefly introduce the supported phases, the structure of service management functions, and the involvement of teams when using the model. The Manage Layer How is IT activity coordinated? What ultimately determines the way IT gets work done? That is the primary focus of the Microsoft Operations Framework Manage Layer, which integrates the decision making, risk management, and change management processes that occur throughout the IT service lifecycle. The Manage Layer promotes consistency in planning and delivering IT services and provides the basis for developing and operating a resilient IT environment. It also holds the processes related to defining accountabilities and associated roles. The Manage Layer represents the foundation for the three phases of the lifecycle—Plan, Deliver, and Operate—and as such is called a layer rather than a phase. A phase consists of processes and activities that have mutual dependencies and are most effective when they occur within a bounded period of time. A layer is less bounded by time, pervades all phases, and influences how activities are performed. The Manage Layer is focused on setting the appropriate management context, controls, processes, and activities that will result in additional business value, managed risk, and clear accountabilities when employing the SMFs in the phases. The Manage Layer contains the following three service management functions (SMFs): Change and Configuration (CC); Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC); and Team. Goals of the Manage Layer
  10. 10. 10 The primary goal of the Manage Layer is to establish an integrated approach to IT service management activities. This approach helps to coordinate processes that are described in the SMFs in the three lifecycle phases. This coordination is enhanced by establishing decision-making processes, employing risk management and controls as part of all processes, promoting change and configuration processes that are appropriately controlled, and dividing work so that accountabilities for results are clear and do not conflict. Specific guidance is provided to increase the likelihood that:  The investment in IT delivers the expected business value.  Investment and resource allocation decisions involve the appropriate people.  There is an acceptable level of risk.  Controlled and documented processes are used.  Accountabilities are communicated and have clear ownership.  Policies and internal controls are effective and reliable.  Meeting these goals is most likely to be achieved if IT works towards: o Explicit IT governance structures and processes. o IT organization and business sharing the same approach to risk management. o Periodic management reviews of policies and internal controls. The Plan Phase What does business want from IT? Business wants services that are reliable, compliant, cost-effective< and adaptable to the constantly changing needs of the business. The Plan Phase is where business and IT work as partners to determine how IT will be focused to deliver valuable services that enable the organization to succeed. Doing that requires the following:  Understanding the business strategy and requirements and how the current IT services support the business.  Understanding what reliability means to this organization and how it will be measured and improved by reviewing and taking action where needed.  Understanding what policy requirements exist and how they impact the IT strategy. Policy requirements provide the financial structure to support the IT work and drive the right decisions. In addition, they create an IT strategy to provide value to the business strategy and make the portfolio decisions that support that IT strategy. The IT strategy is the plan that aligns the organization’s objectives, policies, and procedures into a cohesive approach to deliver the desired set of services that support the business strategy. Quality, costs, and reliability need to be balanced to achieve the organization’s desired outcomes. During the Plan Phase, IT professionals work with the business to align
  11. 11. 11 business objectives and functions with the capabilities and constraints of IT. The IT strategy is the result of this alignment and serves as a roadmap for IT. The strategy continually evolves and improves as organizations improve their optimizing skills and ability to adapt to business changes. Goals of the Plan Phase The primary goals of the Plan Phase are to provide guidance to IT groups about how to continually plan and optimize the IT service strategy to ensure that the delivered services are:  Valuable and compelling.  Predictable and reliable.  Compliant.  Cost-effective.  Adaptable to the changing needs of the business. The Deliver Phase The Deliver Phase is where the services are planned, designed, built, and deployed. This process starts with an early form of planning called ―envisioning,‖ moves through a more formal project planning stage, continues with the design and build stage, follows up with testing, and ends with deployment. Those managing a project can make several choices in terms of a management discipline to apply to the project. Possibilities include Microsoft Solutions Framework (MSF), agile software development, Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) process management, Scrum, and Project Management Institute (PMI). While MSF is the basis for the SMFs in the Deliver Phase, organizations can easily adapt the information in those SMFs to any management discipline. Goals of the Deliver Phase The primary goals of the Deliver lifecycle phase are to ensure that IT services, infrastructure projects, or packaged product deployments are envisioned, planned, built, stabilized, and deployed in line with business requirements and the customer’s specifications. Specifically, that means ensuring that the project team:  Captures the business needs and requirements prior to planning a solution.  Prepares a functional specification and solution design.  Develops work plans, cost estimates, and schedules for the deliverables.  Builds the solution to the customer’s specification, so that all features are complete, and so that the solution is ready for external testing and stabilization.  Releases the highest-quality solution by performing thorough testing and release- candidate piloting.  Deploys a stable solution to the production environment and stabilizes the solution in production.
  12. 12. 12  Prepares the operations and support teams to manage and provide customer service for the solution. Meeting these goals requires:  Alignment with the service management functions (SMFs) for this phase.  Using periodic management reviews (MRs) to evaluate the effectiveness of the phase. The Operate Phase The Operate Phase of the IT service lifecycle represents the culmination of the two phases that precede it. The Plan Phase focuses on how to determine the business’s needs for IT services. The Deliver Phase focuses on how to design, plan, build, and deploy those services. The Operate Phase focuses on what to do after the services are in place. It is, in effect, the steady state for the environment in which IT services exist. This phase is characterized mostly by dedicated teams, which are teams that exist for ongoing work, with no specific end time in mind. The role types in those teams fall into two accountabilities: the Operations Accountability and the Support Accountability. The accountable role type for the Operations Accountability is the Operations Manager. The accountable role type for the Support Accountability is the Customer Service Manager. The Operate Phase begins after a new service has been deployed in the Deliver Phase. The end of that phase is tied to the Release Readiness Management Review (MR). This review and the post-implementation review that occurs after deployment is complete, acts as a bridge between the Deliver Phase and the Operate Phase. It ensures the readiness of the release for deployment, including the operability and supportability of the release and the readiness of the target production environment to support and operate the deployed release. In turn, the Operate Phase is supported by a management review, the Operational Health Review (OHR), which includes a review of service level agreements (SLAs) and operating level agreements (OLAs). This review evaluates performance-related metrics, and other business and operational indicators that help measure the overall health of the production computing environment. Goals of the Operate Phase The primary goals of the Operate Phase are to ensure that deployed services are operated, monitored, and supported in line with the agreed SLA targets. Specifically, that means:  Ensuring that IT services are available by improving IT staff use and better managing workload.  Ensuring that IT services are monitored to provide real-time observation of health conditions by ensuring that team members are trained to handle problems efficiently and quickly.  Ensuring that IT services are restored quickly and effectively.
  13. 13. 13 Meeting these goals requires:  Alignment with the service management functions (SMFs) for this phase.  Using periodic management reviews (MRs) to evaluate the effectiveness of the phase. Service Management Functions Figure 3 Service management functions in MOF MOF organizes activities and processes into service management functions (SMFs), which are grouped in phases that reflect the IT service lifecycle. Each SMF contains a unique set of goals and outcomes that support the objectives of that phase. MOF 4.0 introduces a structure for its SMFs—one that emphasizes outcomes, results, and roles in a format that's easy to reference. Because every group, team, and company is unique, the SMFs are anchored by questions that support the decision-making process within your organization. Service management functions (SMFs) define the roles of people or teams in the organization, such as support professional or system administration, to achieve organizational and IT goals and how they should be accomplished. Although SMFs are cross-functional, the primary role of an SMF applies to a specific phase. For example, system administration is part of the operate phase, and release management is part of the delivery phase. The used SMFs for the MOF phase of the cycle that each SMF applies to are globally described in the following sections.
  14. 14. 14 Service Management Functions within the Plan Phase  Business/IT Alignment SMF Used to align business and IT strategy to ensure that IT services provide business value.  Reliability SMF An SMF that is incorporated to understand, set targets for, and measure IT service reliability.  Policy SMF The purpose of this SMF is to help the IT organization remain in compliance with directives and is for anyone with responsibility for IT policy.  Financial Management SMF This SMF covers the responsibility for measuring and evaluating the costs and benefits— or more comprehensively, the business value—of IT services. Service Management Functions within the Deliver Phase  Envision SMF Used to establish a project team, preparing and delivering a vision/scope document, and preparing a risk assessment.  Project Planning SMF This SMF is used for preparing the functional specification, solution design and preparing work plans, cost estimates, and schedules needed for managing the builds.  Build SMF The build SMF can be used during actual development of an IT service solution, where a development and a test lab are created, and during the preparation of an IT service solution for pilot deployment.  Stabilize SMF Used for supporting the process of the release of the highest-quality IT service solution possible at the Release Readiness Milestone this SMF is used to test a feature-complete solution, prepare release candidate versions, deal with feedback, and fix reported issues.  Deploy SMF This SMF is used when the team will be stabilizing the solution in the production environment and transferring responsibility for the solution from the project team to the Operations and Support teams. Service Management Functions within the Operate Phase  Operations SMF
  15. 15. 15 This SMF is used for managing the daily operations like the required work that is identified and to discover how a team can aim to reduce reactive time, minimize disruptions, and ensure that recurring tasks are executed well.  Service Monitoring and Control SMF Using the Service monitoring and Control SMF, we can observe the health of the IT services and take action to minimize the impact of service and system incidents.  Customer Service SMF Customer Service SMF is used to provide a positive experience for the service provider and the end-users and to address the complaints and issues that arise during the normal use of an IT service.  Problem Management SMF The Problem Management SMF defines processes to provide root cause analysis to identify problems and to predict future problems. Service Management Functions within the manage layer  Governance, Risk and Compliance SMF This SMF is used to support an organization and sustain its growth while managing the risk and constraints facing an IT environment.  Change and Configuration Management SMF Ensures that changes are planned and controlled to deliver robust IT Services  Team SMF Ensures clear accountability, team roles and realistic work assessment for using with agile, flexible, and scalable teams. Management Reviews (MRs) For each phase in the lifecycle, management reviews (MRs) serve to bring together information and people to determine the status of IT services and to establish readiness to move forward in the lifecycle. MR’s are internal controls that provide management validation checks, ensuring that goals are being achieved in an appropriate fashion, and that business value is considered throughout the IT service lifecycle. The goals of management reviews, no matter where they happen in the lifecycle, are straightforward:  Provide management oversight and guidance.  Act as internal controls at the phase level of the IT lifecycle.  Assess the state of activities and prevent premature advancement into the next phases.  Capture organizational learning.  Improve processes.
  16. 16. 16 During a management review, the criteria that a service must meet in order to move through to the next phases in the lifecycle are reviewed against actual progress. The MRs make sure that business objectives are being met, and that IT services are on track to deliver expected value. The MRs, their locations in the IT service lifecycle, and their inputs and outputs are shown in the following table. Table 1. MOF Management Reviews MR Owned Inputs Outputs by Phase Service Plan  Results of the Operational Health  Opportunity for a Review new or improved Alignment project  Service Level Agreements (SLA)  Request for changes  Customer input to SLA Portfolio Plan  Project proposals  Formation of a team  Initial project charter Project Plan Deliver  Business requirements  Formation of the project team Approved  Vision statement  Approved project plan Release Deliver  Documentation showing that the  Go/no go decision release meets requirements about release Readiness  Documentation showing that the release is stable  Documentation showing that the release is ready for operations Operational Operate  Operating level agreement (OLA)  Request for changes documents to the OLA Health documents  OLA performance reports  Request for changes  Operational guides and service- to the IT services solution specifications  Configuration changes to underlying technology components
  17. 17. 17 MOF Team Model Roles The MOF Process Model and the MOF Team Model are the core models that define the Microsoft Operations Framework. The MOF Team Model provides guidelines for organizing teams and the functions and competencies of each role cluster. The role clusters in the Team Model work with the SMFs of the Process Model. The Team Model role clusters enable the SMF processes to be followed. The MOF Team Model also suggests combinations of functions that should be kept separate. For example, the team that tests a change before it is released to the production environment should be separate from the team that developed the change. This can be critical to ensuring that changes to your SharePoint environment are effectively tested in a lab environment that mimics your production environment as closely as practicable. This practice ensures that unforeseen impacts that may result from implementing a change are identified and mitigated before a change is implemented in your production environment. Examples of this include, but are not limited to, installation of hardware firmware updates, application hotfixes, and service packs. Best Practices for SharePoint Environments Best practices are recommendations that are based on the knowledge and experience that IT professionals have gained across many environments. They provide standard procedures for typical tasks that your SharePoint administrators must accomplish daily, and list the tools that they should use to manage a SharePoint environment. Typical tasks for SharePoint administrators include the following:  Capacity and Availability Management Define how and what to measure to predict future capacity requirements and to report about the capacity, reliability, and availability of your systems. You must ensure that servers that are running SharePoint Server are sized to handle the load on the system, and that unplanned downtime is kept under the levels defined in the SLA. Additionally, you will have to upgrade hardware to continue to meet the defined requirements.  Change Management and Configuration Management Control how changes are made to your IT systems. This should include testing, application feedback and contingency plans, documentation of all changes, and approval from management if problems occur. Keep a record of your software and hardware assets and their configurations.  System Administration Outline standard methods for doing administrative tasks, such as database administration and site administration.  Security Administration
  18. 18. 18 Have a detailed policy and plan which protects data confidentiality, data integrity, and data availability of your IT infrastructure. This includes day-to-day activities and tasks that are related to maintaining and adjusting the IT security infrastructure.  System Troubleshooting Outline methods for dealing with unexpected issues, including steps to prevent similar issues in the future.  Service Level Agreements Maintain a set of goals for the performance of your IT systems and regularly measure performance against these goals.  Documentation Document standard procedures, such as configuration information and lessons learned, and make them available to the staffs that need them. As changes to the configuration are made, update the documentation accordingly. Capacity and Availability Management The purpose of capacity management and availability management is to measure and control system performance. We recommend that you implement capacity management and availability management procedures so that you can measure and control system performance. You need to know whether the system is available and whether it can handle the current and the projected demands by setting baselines and monitoring the system to look for trends. Capacity Management Capacity management involves planning, sizing, and controlling service capacity to ensure that the minimum performance levels specified in your SLA are exceeded. Good capacity management ensures that you can provide IT services at a reasonable cost and still meet the levels of performance defined in your SLAs with the client. These criteria can include the following:  System Response Time This is the measured time that the system takes to do typical actions. Examples include, the time for a client to receive the ―last byte‖ of a SharePoint site homepage, the time that Windows allowed to do a full backup of a SharePoint content database, or the time taken to download a specific document from a document library.  Storage Capacity This is the capacity of a storage system, whether it is a content database, a backup device, or a local drive. Examples include the maximum amount of storage space to be provided per site and the amount of time that backups should be stored before being overwritten.
  19. 19. 19 Adjusting capacity is frequently a case of ensuring that enough physical resources are available, such as disk space and network bandwidth. Table 1 lists typical resolutions for capacity-related issues. Table 1 Typical resolutions for capacity-related issues Issue Possible resolution Slow logon to SharePoint sites Introduce another domain controller to the site or increase network bandwidth Slow retrieval of documents from a Ensure an appropriate amount of bandwidth SharePoint site is available through to the end user, and be aware of the maximum size of documents allowed in SharePoint Server. Recovery of a site from backup takes too Split your site collections across multiple long. content databases or use quotas to decrease the maximum size allowed for sites. Overall response of the SharePoint Run tests to check that the existing front-end environment is slow. servers are capable of dealing with the load. Introduce a new front-end server if required. Capacity is affected by system configuration and depends on physical resources such as network bandwidth. For example, if a SharePoint environment is configured to perform a nightly full backup, care must be taken to design the farm and network in such a way that the impact on the interactive performance experienced by end users is minimized. Capacity management is the process of keeping the capacity of a system within acceptable levels and addresses the following issues:  Reacting to changes in requirements Capacity requirements have to be adjusted to account for changes in the system or the organization. For example, if you install a new custom application you have to understand its specific characteristics. For example, does it use Search Server? Does it integrate directly with SQL Server? It may be that you need to introduce a new server for search or add additional memory to maintain your existing performance levels.  Predicting future requirements Some capacity requirements change predictably over time. By tracking trends you can plan upgrades in advance. For example, the total size of a content database typically increases at a fairly constant rate. By looking at how the size of the content database has changed over the last six months, you can make predictions about when it is likely to reach the limits that you have put in place. Although the recommended maximum size of a content database is 50 GB, this will likely be determined by the SLA that you have set for disaster recovery in your environment.
  20. 20. 20 Availability Management Availability management is the process of ensuring that any IT service consistently and cost- effectively delivers the level of availability that is required by the customer. Availability management is concerned with minimizing loss of service and with ensuring that appropriate action is taken if service is lost. In a SharePoint environment, you may be concerned about whether the Search Service is available, whether a content database is online, and so on. An SLA defines an acceptable frequency and length of outages and allows for certain periods when the system is unavailable for planned maintenance and unexpected failures. If you have to provide reports to your management about the availability of systems, or if you have financial or other penalties associated with missing availability targets, you must record availability data. Even if you do not have such formal requirements, it is a good idea to at least know how frequently a system has failed in a certain time period, for example, system availability in the last 12 months and how long it took to recover from each failure. This information will help you measure and improve your team’s effectiveness in responding to a system failure. It can also provide you with useful information if there is a dispute. Measures related to availability are as follows:  Availability This is typically expressed as the time that a system or service is accessible compared to the time that it is down. It is typically expressed as a percentage. (You may see references to ―three nines‖ or ―five nines‖. These refer to 99.9% or 99.999% availability.)  Reliability This is a measure of the time between failures of a system and is sometimes expressed as mean (or average) time between failures (MTBF).  Time to Repair This is the time taken to recover a service after a failure has occurred and is sometimes expressed at mean (or average) time to repair (MTTR). Availability, reliability, and time to repair are related as follows: Availability = (MTBF – MTTR) / MTBF For example, if a server fails twice over a six-month period and is unavailable for an average of 20 minutes, the MTBF is three months or 90 days and the MTTR is 20 minutes. Therefore, Availability = (90 days – 20 minutes) / 90 days = 99.985% Availability management is the process of ensuring that availability is maximized and kept within the parameters defined in SLAs. Availability management includes the following processes:  Monitoring Examining when and for how long services are unavailable.  Reporting Availability figures should be regularly provided to management, users, and operations teams. These reports should highlight trends and identify areas that are doing well and
  21. 21. 21 areas that require attention. The report should summarize compliance with targets set in the SLAs.  Improvement If availability does not meet targets that are defined in the SLAs or where the trend is toward reduced availability, the availability management process should plan remedial steps. This should include working with other responsible teams to highlight reasons for outages and to plan remedial actions to prevent a recurrence of the outages. Capacity and availability measurements are repetitive tasks that are ideally suited to automated tools and scripts such as Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager, which is discussed later in this document. Change Management Changes to your IT environment are inevitable. Changes include new technologies, systems, applications, hardware, tools, processes, and changes in roles and responsibilities. An effective change management system lets you introduce changes to your IT environment quickly and with minimal service disruption. A change management system brings together the teams involved in modifying a system. For example, deciding to take advantage of the Office Web Applications. This is an integrated SharePoint Service application that enables users to read and edit documents within a browser. The implementation of this service, after you have gone into production, requires the involvement of a several teams:  Test Team This team load-tests the Office Web Applications on a test server, in the process providing information on the expected usage patterns and expected performance of the productions servers.  SharePoint Administrators This team determines the deployment strategy and scripts the installation where possible. The team is responsible for ensuring that the change is deployed on the production environment and, it is responsible for administration afterwards. The team must understand the effect of the changes and incorporate them in procedures before the changes are put into production  Network Team This team is responsible for changes to firewall rules which allow access from the Internet to the Office Web Applications servers if required. The team is also responsible for ensuring that the amount of available bandwidth can support the additional load.  Security Team This team assesses security and minimizes risks. The security team must review known vulnerabilities and ensure that security risks are minimized.  User Acceptance Team
  22. 22. 22 This team is composed of users who are willing to test the system and offer feedback for improvements. The change management process defines the responsibilities of each team and schedules the work to be performed, incorporating checks and tests where they are required. Change controls will vary depending on the complexity and expected effect of a change. They can vary from automatic approval of minor changes, to change review meetings, to full project- level reviews. To illustrate this better, the groups of changes are discussed in this section.  Major Changes Major changes have a global effect on the system and may require input from various teams. An example of this is upgrading from Office SharePoint Server 2007 to SharePoint Server 2010. Major changes affect many different teams and perhaps different systems. The change management process may follow a procedure that is similar to the Office Web Applications example discussed earlier, but it will probably include one or more change review meetings to inform the teams that will be involved in the change or be affected by the change.  Significant Changes Significant changes require significant resources to plan, build, and implement. Appropriate change controls should be introduced to ensure that the effect of the change is understood, deployment procedures are tested, and the rollback and contingency plans are ready. An example of a significant change is deploying a new service pack.  Minor Changes Minor changes do not significantly affect the IT environment, for example, modifying certain SharePoint security policies.  Standard Changes Standard changes are performed regularly and are well understood and documented. Examples include creating a new SharePoint site collection or configuring a new SharePoint content source. Regular changes should be documented in standard operating procedures (SOPs), but they do not require change controls. For example, a procedure for creating a new content database may state that the maximum number of site collections should always be set to 600.with the basic storage quota allowing for 250 MB of storage. The change management process should review all changes to the procedure, but it should not, for example, be involved in creating every content database. The following example of change management examines how different teams interact and the actions that are performed when a new service pack is deployed. These actions are organized and managed by the change management process.  Raise a change request The security team has assessed the latest service pack and confirmed that it resolves a possible vulnerability in the production system. The team raises a change request to have the new service pack applied to all servers running SharePoint Server.  Service pack release notes review
  23. 23. 23 The SharePoint administrator team reviews the service pack release notes to identify the effect on the system.  A series of lab tests is done The SharePoint administrator team must perform test updates on a server in a non- production environment to decide whether the service pack can be applied successfully without affecting any of the installed applications and server systems. If there are third- party or internally-created applications that interface with SharePoint Server in a production environment, these should be also tested. These tests can also be used to estimate the time required to perform the upgrades.  Users are informed of the outage The SharePoint administrator team, communications team, or user help desk informs all affected users about the planned maintenance cycle and how long the service will be unavailable.  A full backup of SharePoint is performed before the upgrade The SharePoint administrator team must ensure that there is a valid backup in place to be able to revert to the original system state if the service pack installation fails. It is recommended that the backup be restored to a standby server to have this system readily available if there are problems.  The service pack is deployed The SharePoint administrator team does the installation during the planned maintenance cycle. Managing the Timing of Changes We recommend that you implement a procedure for scheduling changes to avoid disruptions in overlapping sections of your work. For example, two teams may both be planning a minor change to a system. One team may be applying a service pack while another team is installing a custom Web Part that displays the weather in your location. Neither team is affected by the changes that the other team is planning, and each team may not necessarily know about changes that the other team is planning. If both changes occurred at the same time, there could be problems implementing the changes. Also, if there are issues after the changes have been applied, for example if the weather Web Part fails, it may be difficult to decide which change should be rolled back. There should be regular maintenance periods set up between IT and management to test the changes and accept them. Configuration Management Configuration management is the process of recording and tracking hardware and software assets and system configuration information. It is generally used to track software licenses, maintain a standard hardware and software build for client computers and servers, and define naming standards for new computers. Configuration management generally covers the following categories:
  24. 24. 24  Hardware This category tracks the pieces of equipment that the IT organization owns, where equipment is located, and who uses equipment. This information enables an organization to plan and budget for upgrades, maintain standard hardware builds, report on the value of IT assets for accounting purposes, and help prevent theft.  Software This category tracks software that is installed on each computer, the version numbers, and where the licenses are held. This information helps plan upgrades, ensure that software is licensed, and detect the existence of unauthorized (and unlicensed) software.  Standard Builds This category tracks the current standard build for the client computers and servers and whether the client computers and servers meet this standard. The existence and enforcement of standard builds helps support staff because the staff is required to maintain only a limited number of versions of each piece of software.  Service Packs and Hotfixes This category tracks which service packs are tested and approved for use and which computers are up-to-date. This information is important to minimize the risk of computers being compromised and to detect users who have installed unapproved updates.  System Configuration Information This category tracks the function of a system, the interaction between system elements, and the processes that depend on the system running smoothly. For example, a connector to a third-party e-mail system may be configured on a single server. The e-mail system’s dependence on this server should be understood and contingency plans may be required if there is a failure. If a second connector is installed on another server, dependencies and contingency plans will probably change. Implementing Configuration Management After you determine the purpose of your configuration management exercise and decide what items need managing, you need to implement configuration management by collecting data and reporting data. The simplest approach for small organizations is to collect data manually (number and model of client computers, operating system, software installed) and store it in a Microsoft Office Word or Microsoft Office Excel document. For larger, more complex, and constantly changing systems, the discovery of assets and collection of detailed information must be automated. Decide what information is relevant to your organization and record it in a database. The configuration management database is a useful tool for support staff and management in the following areas:  Security Audits
  25. 25. 25 The database enables you to identify servers running SharePoint Server and client computer systems that need to have hotfixes applied or that have missed the installation of a service pack or the latest antivirus updates.  Software Installation If you identify client computers that already have Microsoft Office installed, this will save time if you are manually deploying Office.  Configuration Information If you maintain an up-to-date list of all settings that have been modified from their default, then you will be able to troubleshoot issues quickly and more effectively.  Planning Upgrades If a capacity review reveals that additional storage space is required on your SharePoint database servers, it’s important to know if each server has an internal RAID controller. If they do, then are they the same model? Do they have the same number of disks installed? The configuration management database will indicate the type of disk that can be installed, the number, and the upgrade path in each case. Tools Used for Configuration Management There are many tools to discover, audit, and report assets. Some of these tools are discussed in this section.  Automated Scripts You can write simple scripts to report items like the operating system, service pack level, and existence of software on a specific set of computers. You can writer these scripts to an organization’s exact requirements; however, the required number of scripts and their complexity can make scripts expensive to create and maintain.  Automated Tools Depending on the size of your business and your organizational needs, you may want to consider using automated tools. Tools such as Microsoft Systems Center Configuration Manager incorporate standard report templates (such as service pack level) and also enable you to create customized reports, for example, for a custom application. Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) can also be used to report on hardware and software configurations. SharePoint Server can be used to record configuration data and make it accessible to the appropriate IT personnel. Relationship with Change Management Configuration management is closely related to change management. Configuration management identifies the need for change and identifies and records that a change has occurred. For example, the configuration management database can be used to identify servers that require a hotfix. Change management then defines the process for applying the hotfix.
  26. 26. 26 Conversely, if a new software package is rolled out, the change management process should supply this information to the configuration management system. The configuration management tools will probably need to be configured to identify the new software so that they can discover and track where and when the software is deployed. System Administration System administration includes the day-to-day administrative tasks, both planned and on- demand, that are required to keep an IT system operating smoothly. Typically, system administration tasks are covered by written procedures. These procedures ensure that the same standard tools and methods are used by all support staff. In a SharePoint environment, typical system administration tasks include creating site collections, backing up and archiving sites, monitoring logs, maintaining and recovering documents, and updating antivirus software. System Troubleshooting An organization must be prepared to deal with unexpected problems and should have a procedure to manage problems from the point at which they are reported until their resolution. Information about how support staff diagnosed a problem should be recorded and used in the future to avoid unnecessarily repeating completed work. System Troubleshooting Process Figure 1.5 shows the system troubleshooting process and the interactions with other operations roles. Figure 1.5 System Troubleshooting Flowchart
  27. 27. 27  Classify and Prioritize This task is typically performed by the service desk. For example, a problem may be grouped as a software issue or a hardware issue. The problem is then routed to the appropriate support team for investigation. The rules for determining the priority of a problem, together with the time to respond and time to resolve, are typically defined in the SLA.  Investigate and Diagnose The appropriate support team diagnoses the problem and proposes changes to resolve the problem. If the solution is simple and does not require change control, the solution can be applied immediately. If the solution is not simple, a request for change should be raised and the proposed work should be managed by the change management process, frequently under a ―fast-track‖ procedure. Any changes that are made should be recorded using the configuration management process.  Close and Record After testing the resolution, the problem should be closed. If there are lessons to be learned from the problem, an entry should be created in the knowledge base.  Review and Trend Analysis Periodic reviews of recent problems should be performed to identify problem trends. For example, if your users are experiencing frequent problems with slow logons to their SharePoint sites, network bandwidth issues may be the cause. Problem resolution times and the effect of any outages on system availability should be reviewed and compared with the SLA. The person who liaises with the customer on service issues, such as an account manager, should be informed of any significant problems. Problem Management Tools Service desk tools enable staff to record, classify, and prioritize new problems. Tools will then provide the workflow processes to manage the problem ―ticket‖ through investigation and diagnosis, often by more than one support team. Tools, which will frequently provide reports about resolution times and historical trends, may also include a knowledge base database, which can be used to search through past problems. The Microsoft Knowledge Base is a useful record of support issues that have been encountered by Microsoft. For more information, see the Microsoft Help and Support Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=14898). Third-party software typically requires customization to suit the organization’s needs, such as the organization of teams, reporting requirements, and measures required by the SLA. Service-Level Agreements The service-level agreement (SLA) is a document that defines the services that your customer expects from you. The complexity and content of this document depends largely on whether customers are internal (within your company) or external.
  28. 28. 28 External Customers If your customer is external, the SLA may be part of a legal contract with financial incentives and penalties for performance that falls inside or outside defined levels of service. Defining these levels of service should be part of the overall contract negotiation. As with all contracts, it’s important that both parties understand expectations. The SLA defines these expectations. The contents of the document should change infrequently and only because of negotiations with the customer. Internal Customers If your customer is internal, you may still want to define the services that are expected of operations teams and of IT systems. The SLA may be created by the operations staff and intended as a set of goals for the availability of IT services within your organization. Alternatively, performance levels may be set by management and used as benchmarks when assessing staff performance. Typical Criteria Service level agreements include components that define criteria of minimum levels of availability, support, and capacity.  Availability Define the hours and the operating systems on which sites and other SharePoint services will be available. Any routine maintenance that affects service availability should be defined. Define external factors that affect service, for example the loss of Internet connectivity.  Support Define the hours when support for a system will be available. Specify methods for customers to contact support staff, how incidents are grouped, and target time to respond and to resolve the incident. Define frequency and content of feedback to the customer.  Capacity Define the maximum allowed size of SharePoint sites and the steps to take if the limit is exceeded. Define the maximum allowed time to do standard tasks, such as the time to retrieve a document from a document library. Define the maximum number of users and agree to a process to follow to increase capacity if more users are added. Documentation The Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF) model is composed of many service management functions. Documentation about how and when tasks are performed can be shared with members of the same team or with other teams. The method of storing and sharing documentation can vary according to the type of function. For example, the procedures for system administration may be stored as Word documents because they are likely to be printed and referenced frequently. Configuration management information may be
  29. 29. 29 automatically generated and stored in a database for easy searching and indexing. Some documentation may be sensitive and should be restricted. Document Management Systems A documentation management system acts as a central repository for documents and ensures that only the latest revision of a document is available. You can also consider archiving the older version of the document for reference purposes. SharePoint Server provides functionality suitable to this task. Databases Several tools and management functions have been discussed that are suited to using databases. The configuration management process is likely to use automated processes that store large amounts of data that require indexing and searching. Support staff may search a database of past problems and resolutions when troubleshooting new problems. It is likely that there will be different databases being used for different purposes. Decide if these databases should be linked or consolidated. For example, if the service desk identifies several problems with a common theme (such as new software causing a problem with a particular network card), the support staff can query the configuration database to predict how many computers might be affected.
  30. 30. 30 Monitoring SharePoint To ensure the availability and reliability of your SharePoint Server 2010 environment, you must actively monitor the physical platform, the operating system, and all important SharePoint Server 2010 services. Preventative maintenance will help you identify potential errors before an error causes problems with the operation of your SharePoint environment. Preventative maintenance combined with disaster recovery planning and regular backups will help minimize problems if they occur. Monitoring your SharePoint environment involves checking for problems with connections, services, server resources, and system resources. You can also set alerts to notify administrators when problems occur. Windows Server and SharePoint Server 2010 provide many monitoring tools and services to ensure that your SharePoint environment is running smoothly. The key advantages to daily monitoring are as follows:  Ensures that the performance requirements of your service level agreements (SLAs) are being met.  Ensures that specific administrative tasks, such as daily backup operations and checking server health, are being successfully completed.  Enables you to detect and address issues, such as bottlenecks in the server performance or need for additional resources, in your SharePoint environment before they affect productivity. The following maintenance tasks let you establish criteria for normal behavior of your environment and to detect abnormal activity. It is important to implement these daily maintenance tasks so that you can capture and maintain data about your SharePoint environment, such as usage levels, possible performance bottlenecks, and administrative changes. By using and customizing the checklists in this document, you ensure that potential problems are discovered and remedial action taken as early as possible. The following sections describe specific monitoring tasks which then map to the checklists as described below. Section Topic Checklist Diagnostic logging Running SharePoint Server Check Event Logs Check SharePoint Farm Backups Usage data and health data View metrics Check SharePoint Database collection Health
  31. 31. 31 SharePoint Health analyzer Repair problems Check SharePoint Health Analyzer Web analyzer View metrics Check SharePoint Health Analyzer Diagnostic Logging The Unified Logging Service (ULS) provides a single, centralized location for logging error and informational messages related to SharePoint Server and SharePoint solutions. Systems administrators have one place to look when they need to troubleshoot an issue or monitor the overall health of the environment. SharePoint Server 2010 includes improvements that are related to the management of the Unified Logging Service (ULS or Trace Logs) logs and that make it easier for administrators to troubleshoot issues. These are described in the following sections. For more information and best practices about diagnostic logging, see Configure Diagnostic Logging (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=194152). Event Throttling Event throttling enables administrators to control the types of event that SharePoint Server log based on the level of severity. The administration of throttling is divided into two sections: 1. Destination Log entries can be reported in two places. The first is the ―Event Log‖, which is the standard Windows Event Log. Administrators can use the Windows Event Viewer application to review entries. The second is the ULS or ―Trace Log‖, a text based log format that is specific to SharePoint Server and is stored on the file system. The default location is C:Program FilesCommon FilesMicrosoft SharedWeb Server Extensions14LOGS. 2. Category The event throttling dial can be applied to specific categories which map directly to SharePoint Server functionality. This enables the administrator to increase the logging detail for SharePoint components individually, thereby managing the size of the logs and the amount of information to review. The default settings for all categories are as follows:  Event Log: Information  Trace Log: Medium Level During normal operation, these settings are an appropriate balance of detail and performance. During substantial reconfiguration of SharePoint Server, during the installation of custom solutions, or when SharePoint Server is experiencing issues, the throttling dial
  32. 32. 32 should be turned down. This ensures as much information is available as possible for troubleshooting. Finally, after completing any troubleshooting, logging can be returned to the default by selecting the ―Reset to default‖ option in the throttling drop-downs. Settings that are not currently configured with the default option will appear in a bold font. Correlation IDs Correlation IDs are GUIDs that are assigned to events which occur during the lifecycle of a resource request. This value is surfaced within error messages, the ULS logs, and tools like the Developer Dashboard. This value helps an administrator locate and isolate a specific request across the ULS log, Usage Logging database, and SQL Server Profiler data sets for debugging purposes. For example, administrators can take the Correlation ID that appears on an error page in their browsers and then rapidly locate any related entries in the ULS logs through a simple search. Correlation IDs also span machine boundaries. If a request, such as a front-end Web server calling a Web service on an application server, crosses a machine boundary the assigned Correlation ID can provide a complete overview of activities during the life-cycle of the request. Event Log Flood Protection Event Log Flood Protection prevents the ―Event Log‖ from being overwhelmed with many repetitive events. When Event Log Flood Protection is enabled (default), it will start trimming events after the same event is logged five times within two minutes. At this point it suppresses additional entries. After an additional two minutes, it throws a summary event that describes the number of times that the event would have been repeated. An administrator can modify these thresholds.
  33. 33. 33 Figure 1: In Central Administration, click Monitoring, and in the Reporting section, click Configure diagnostic logging. ULS or Trace Logging Trace Logs can quickly consume disk space, especially when configured to use the more verbose output settings. To manage this growth, administrators can implement two types of restrictions: a) Administrators can determine the number of days that log files should be kept. By default this is set to 14 days. b) Administrators can also place a limitation on the overall disk space that log files can consume. This is disabled by default but provides for an additional layer of protection aimed at preventing excessive disk space consumption. Use the following checklist to implement these features in your daily operations:  Check Event Logs Usage Data and Health Data Collection In addition to Diagnostic Logging, SharePoint Server 2010 also proactively logs information that is related to the overall health of the farm. As an administrator you can individually select which events are monitored, for example the usage of features, page load times, and search queries.
  34. 34. 34 This functionality both consumes disk space and has a performance overhead. Like Diagnostic Logging, care needs to be taken to manage it appropriately. The following options are available to administrators: 1) Health Data Collection Health reports are built by taking snapshots of various resources, data, and processes at specific points in time. The number of Timer Jobs to schedule will depend on the number of events that you selected to monitor. The frequency of these jobs can be modified to manage the performance impact. 2) Log Collection Schedule The Log Collection Schedule Timer Job is responsible for collecting Usage Logs from the various servers in the farm, processing them, and then populating a centralized database from where they can be queried for reporting. Once processed, the logs are deleted from disk, freeing up the space they were consuming. The frequency of this job can be modified to manage the consumption of disk space. Note: Everything that is being logged to the Windows Event Viewer and to the SharePoint log files is also being stored in the SharePoint Server 2010 logging database. The logging database is also used by the SharePoint Health Analyzer and by SharePoint usage reporting. Use the following checklist to implement these features in your daily operations:
  35. 35. 35  Check SharePoint Database Health Figure 2: In Central Administration, click Monitoring, and in the Reporting section, click Configure diagnostic logging. SharePoint Health Analyzer SharePoint has a number of features that log and gather detailed statistics about all aspects of the health of the environment. The SharePoint Health Analyzer aggregates all of this data, identifies possible problems, then proactively looks for, and recommends solutions.
  36. 36. 36 Many solutions that it finds will include a ―Repair Now‖ link, which when selected will automatically resolve the problem. Other solutions will link to online help content which is constantly updated with the latest information about the problem. Like the ―Best Practices Analyzers‖ available for other platforms (such as Microsoft Exchange Server), Health Analyzer includes a set of rules which can be extended by developers and which is continuously compared to the existing settings and metrics drawn from your production environment. Rules are applied across a number of categories, including security, performance, configuration and availability. Figure 3: In Central Administration, click Monitoring and in the Health Analyzer section click Review problems and solutions. Because some rules are not applicable to every environment, an administrator may disable or modify rules to satisfy the needs of an organization. For information about these settings see Configuring rules (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203133). Timer Jobs The monitoring features in SharePoint Server 2010 use specific timer jobs to perform monitoring tasks and collect monitoring data. The health and usage data might consist of performance counter data, event log data, timer service data, metrics for site collections and sites, search usage data, or various performance aspects of the Web servers. The system uses this data to create health reports, Web Analytics reports, and administrative reports. The system writes usage and health data to the logging folder and subsequently to the logging database.
  37. 37. 37 You might want to change the schedules that the timer jobs run on to collect data more frequently or less frequently. You might even want to disable jobs that collect data if you are not interested in them. You can perform the following tasks on timer jobs:  Modify the schedule that the timer job runs on.  Run timer jobs immediately.  Enable or disable timer jobs.  View timer job status. You can view currently scheduled jobs, failed jobs, currently running jobs, and a complete timer job history. For more information about how to configure these settings, see Configure SharePoint Health Analyzer timer jobs (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=200593). Use the following checklist to implement these features in your daily operation:  Check SharePoint Health Analyzer For More Information For more information about configuring the Health analyzer, see Configuring monitoring (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203134). Web Analytics The reports that the Web Analytics functionality in SharePoint Server generates provide detailed insight into how your SharePoint environment is being used, and how well it’s performing. Administrators should become familiar with these reports and how they can create their own (directly in the browser) to plan future capacity and to produce benchmarks to compare with future farm configurations. All of these reports can be used to help you decide if the current architecture remains ―fit for purpose,‖ meaning that it meets the desired service levels. The reports are broken down into three categories and can be reviewed based on Web Application, Site Collection, Site and Search Service. Traffic The traffic reports help administrators answer questions such as the following:  How much traffic does my farm serve? (# of Page Views)  Who visits the most often? (Top Visitors)  How do visitors find your site? (Top Referrers) In addition, traffic reports provide statistics about the ―Daily Unique Visitors‖, ―Top Destinations‖ and the browsers used, among others.
  38. 38. 38 Search These reports focus on helping an administrator understand how people are using search. It does this by answering questions like the following:  How many searches are being performed? (# of queries)  What were people mostly searching for? (Top queries)  What queries are failing? (Failed queries) In addition, search reports provide statistics about ―Best Bets‖, ―Search Keywords‖ and more. By using these reports you could, for example, review the most commonly used Search terms and then work with the appropriate people in the organization to match it to a new ―Best Bet.‖ Adding the intelligence of people, to the intelligence of SharePoint Search makes for the best possible search experience. Inventory These reports advise administrators about usage, answering questions like the following:  How much disk space is being consumed? (Disk usage)  How many sites have been created? (# of sites)  What languages are in use? (Languages Usage) While these reports are useful for capacity planning, they can also help you understand how well your information architecture is performing. Figure 4: In Central Administration, click Monitoring and in the Reporting section click View Web Analytics reports. Use the following checklist to implement these features in your daily operation:  Check health analyzer
  39. 39. 39 How to check if SharePoint Server is “Alive” The most basic element of IT service monitoring is the creation of a tool that monitors an application for a ―heartbeat‖, that is, a response from the application that verifies that it is in an operational state. This is particularly important with high availability designs that have a load balancer capable of automatically removing a server from the rotation when a heartbeat stops. The most common approach to the implementation of a heartbeat for Web applications is a ―HTTP Ping‖, which essentially sends a request to a Web server and awaits a response. The important thing to consider when creating such a ―heartbeat‖ for SharePoint Server is that the product implements custom error messages. The result is that standard Web response codes (404, 401) can be ―hidden‖ behind an HTML error page. In other words, simply checking that the server running SharePoint Server is correctly returning HTML is not enough to determine that the server is alive. For this reason, we recommend that any heartbeat tool that you develop takes a more sophisticated approach to checking if SharePoint Server is alive. The actual implementation comes down to your requirements, but it might be that you develop a page that checks key SharePoint services and returns a very specific HTML page to represent an ―alive‖ response. SharePoint Developer Dashboard While the Developer Dashboard was primarily designed for developers, administrators may find it’s a useful tool for debugging page-level performance problems. It provides detailed information on the performance characteristics of code that is running as part of the rendering of a SharePoint page. The report shows the following information:  Web server section o Execution Time – The time that it takes to render a page o Current User – The user who is currently logged in o Page Checkout Level – Indicates if the page is checked out o Current SharePoint Operations – The number of SharePoint requests (SPRequest) o Log Correlation Id – The ID under which SharePoint Server writes messages to the ULS logs to see the relevant messages  Asserts and Critical Events section Here you will find errors and critical events. The messages include details about errors and their Correlation IDs. When a critical message has occurred you can drill down to the actual callstack of the message by clicking the critical event.  Asserts and Critical Events section Here you can find every database query that has occurred during the rendering of the page together with the execution time. You can drill down and see more information by clicking about the query: o Query Text: the full SQL Server query. o Callstack: Displays the full SQL Server call stack. o IO Stats: Allows you to see how extensive the read/writes are on the specified SQL Server query.
  40. 40. 40  Service Calls section The service calls section displays the requests to SharePoint Web services. This gives you an indication of the response time from a Web service call, which allows you to determine if it’s taking longer than expected.  SPRequest Allocations section In this section you can check whether the SPRequest objects are properly disposed.  WebPart Events Offsets section This section displays how long each Web Part takes to render. More information about enabling and disabling the dashboard is available in Appendix A: Enabling the Developer Dashboard. Custom Applications and Object Disposal One of the most difficult to troubleshoot, most persistent and severe issues that a SharePoint administrator can encounter is the incorrect management of SharePoint objects in custom applications. It’s critical to the reliability of your environment that governance processes are put in place to ensure that custom code complies with the published best practices around the disposal of objects in the SharePoint Object Model. When these objects are not disposed correctly you introduce memory leaks which in turn can introduce system downtime and instability. What are the best practices concerning object disposal? Correct object disposal is just one best practice that SharePoint developers should be aware of. It is however, probably the most critical, and most complex to apply. The following resource is the recommended source for developers surrounding the aspects of proper object disposal.  Using Disposable Windows SharePoint Services Objects (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203135). How do I know I have a memory leak? Here are the two most common ways to determine you have a memory leak: 1) Review your ULS logs SharePoint Server constantly tracks the lifecycle of objects to proactively report potential issues that are related to object disposal. It does this by recording potential issues in the ULS logs as follows: “An SPRequest object was not disposed before the end of this thread. To avoid wasting system resources, dispose of this object or its parent (such as a SPSite or SPWeb) as soon as you are done using it. This object will now be disposed”
  41. 41. 41 Because these events occasionally may be ―false positives,‖ administrators should be concerned with either an exceptionally large number of these errors (the ULS will actually provide an object count), or a change in the frequency, especially soon after a change to the environment, such as the installation of a new solution. 2) Application Pool Recycles The most common symptom that is associated with a memory leak is usually described as ―The application pools recycle intermittently‖. The result is down time. The challenge for an administrator is that this downtime happens intermittently, which makes it difficult to reproduce and to debug. Most commonly this problem typically occurs during peaks in usage. The reason this occurs is due to a protective mechanism built into application pools. Because the SharePoint objects are not being disposed correctly, the .NET garbage collector is not able to reclaim the memory consumed by the objects. This results in the memory leak, which in turn, results in a potentially dramatic increase in memory consumption. Application pools, by default, are configured to automatically recycle when they consume too much memory, and this is the intermittent instability. Reviewing the event viewer for application pool recycle events is critical to isolating and identifying memory leaks in custom applications. Other common symptoms which suggest that you may have a memory leak include database connectivity issues. How can I check solutions for memory leaks? Microsoft has released the SharePoint Dispose Checker Tool (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=203138) which quickly identifies possible issues with the disposal of SharePoint objects in custom applications. The tool only requires access to the solution assembly to work, and it can also be integrated into a developer's build process.
  42. 42. 42 Operations Management Operations management involves the administration of an organization's infrastructure components and includes the day-to-day administrative tasks, both planned and impromptu, which are required to keep an IT system operating smoothly. Typically, operations management tasks are covered by written procedures. These procedures provide all support staff with the same standard tools and methods. In a SharePoint Server 2010 environment, examples of system administration tasks include creating Web Applications, backing up and archiving sites and site collections, monitoring logs, and maintaining service applications. Standard Procedures Several resources can help you define what standard procedures are required in your organization and how to perform them. For more information about how to administer your SharePoint environment, see Operations (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=89152). Because each company is unique, you will have to customize and adapt these references to suit your requirements. Standard procedures will change, and documentation will occasionally need to be revised. As changes are made, your change management process should identify how each change is likely to affect various parties. The change management function should be used to update and control the documentation. The tasks that need to be performed can generally be separated into the following general categories:  Daily Tasks  Weekly Tasks  Monthly Tasks  As Needed Tasks When preparing documentation for operations management, checklists are useful to help make sure that the required tasks are performed at the appropriate time. For detailed information about how to prepare operations checklists, see the sample checklists located in Operations Checklists. Frequently, change management takes over where system administration finishes. If a task is documented by a standard procedure, it is part of the system administration function. If there is no standard procedure for a task, it should be handled by using the change management function.
  43. 43. 43 Centralized Versus Decentralized Administration Roles and responsibilities for performing system administration tasks depend on whether the organization follows a centralized model, a decentralized model, or a combination of both. Centralized Model In a centralized model, one or several administrative groups maintain complete control of the SharePoint environment. This administrative model is similar to a data center where all administration tasks are performed by a single information technology group. Roles and responsibilities within the team should be defined according to experience and expertise. Decentralized Model Decentralized organizations are located in several geographic locations and have servers running SharePoint Server and teams of administrators in different locations. For example, there may be local administration staff and one or more servers running SharePoint Server for each office in each country. Alternatively, there may be a cluster of servers running SharePoint Server and an administrative team for North America and one for Europe. Sometimes, you may want administrators to be responsible only for their own geographical area and restrict permissions to administer resources in other areas. In SharePoint Server, you can do this by managing users in Central Administration where the rights of administrators can be set by using permissions and policy. For More Information For more information about delegating control of SharePoint Server, see Security and Protection (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=89441). Daily Tasks To help ensure the availability and reliability of your SharePoint Server 2010 environment, you must actively monitor the physical platform, the operating system, and all important SharePoint Server, IIS, and SQL Server services. Preventative maintenance helps you identify potential errors before an error causes problems with the operation of your SharePoint environment. Combined with disaster recovery planning and regular backups, you minimize the impact of problems that might arise. Monitoring your SharePoint environment involves checking for problems with connections, services, server resources, and system resources. Microsoft Windows Server 2008, SQL Server 2008 and, of course, SharePoint Server itself, provide many monitoring tools and services to help make sure that your SharePoint environment is running smoothly.